Home > COGIC, sexual abuse, sexual immorality > COGIC to ramp up PR strategy; plans to “get ahead of the story”

COGIC to ramp up PR strategy; plans to “get ahead of the story”

During the 2011 Church of God in Christ Call Meeting (national business meeting), held in Memphis, the [anonymous] Report of the General Board issued a pdf file which says that the denomination intends to ramp up its efforts to change its public image. But what’s the motivation?

The report ironically seems to paint the church as a victim of virtual boogeyman forces out to destroy its name, image and reputation.

“We are experiencing a viral media culture where truth and untruths are mingled together to produce sensation. Sometimes this occurs at the cost of reputation, livelihood, and humiliation. The Church must become more assertive in managing “her” own story about her role in world affairs. The selection of a Public Relations Manager is one of several ways we are going to “get ahead of a story” and offer a integral [sic] context to contrast the forces that take delight in minimizing our effectiveness and impact in the lives of hundreds of thosands [sic] of people in their every day lives.”

One solution, the church believes is to hire a “public relations manager”. As before when the issues cross clergy sexual abuse, financial mismanagement, and abuse of authority especially with COGIC leaders, the language becomes shadowy and generic.

For instance,there is no explanation as to how the public relations manager position is different from the one created for Bishop Brandon Porter or the (presumably) paid media relations position of Diedre Malone.

Is this just more useless spending by an administration trying to keep its dirty secrets from seeping out or is it a legitimate makeover by a church under the gun?

The problem with COGIC’s new strategy is akin to catching a child with his hand in the cookie jar. Asked if he is getting cookies when he shouldn’t be, the child responds: “But John’s dad called him a bad boy for getting a cookie before dinner, so you shouldn’t scold or punish me”. Redirecting attention from one’s own sins is the oldest trick in the book. Adam and Eve tried it in the book of Genesis.

COGIC dances around (or intentionally ignores) the real problem, which isnt a so-called  “viral media culture” (reportcogicabuse.com) or “forces that take delight in minimizing our effectiveness”.  It uses the same “viral media culture” to release its church propaganda.  The real problem is the fact that far too many of its own clergy are sexual wolves preying on unsuspecting sheep. And the church’s leadership does little — if anything— to resolve the problem. Instead of dealing righteously with legitimate victims who have suffered real and sustained sexual violence, the report paints the church as an innocent victim of  sinister viral media forces. Of course, they would NEVER name such forces lest people seek out the truth…and find it.

Its strange if not altogether bizarre that instead of following a biblical path which includes repentance, showing mercy to victims by acknowledging their hurt, restitution and disciplining perpetrators, the church’s leadership would rather lie to its membership about virtual boogeyman forces and slip on a new choir robe.

Even after a detailed and damning report released by James Smith,  a high ranking church officer, the administration of Bishop Charles Blake is still treating millions of faithful followers (many highly educated) as if they are first graders wearing wet diapers.

The world would call COGIC’s new PR job “spin control”. According to one source, it not a good thing at all certainly not for a church which proclaims to uphold the standards of holiness.

“In public relations, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing an interpretation of an event or campaign to persuade public opinion in favor or against a certain organization or public figure. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, “spin” often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics.

Surely such things will come to no good end.


Robert Coleman, Jr.
COGIC Public Relations Manager
930 Mason Street
Memphis, TN 38126
Office: (901) 235-2160

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